Career Advice Tuesday – No Confidence in the New Regime

June 19, 2012

Dear Infosecleaders:

I am an information security engineer, and about six months ago I decided to change employers.   The main reason for accepting the role was based on the connection and confidence that I had developed with the CISO., during the interview process.

When I initially interviewed for the role, I was on the fence about accepting the offer.  However, I had a dinner with the CISO and we spent the time together speaking about professional development and he assured me of his commitment to expose me to more of the business side of information security.   The trade off was that I had to give him 12-18 months in a security engineering capacity.   During this meeting he even shared with me about his own progression and how he had a mentor who helped him along the way in his professional development and ultimate transition form techie to Info Sec leader.

Well I bought in. 

About a month ago, I learned that corporate decided to make a decision and they have forced him to resign.  In his place, they have brought in someone internally, who is not an information security professional  (we will leave it at that) – and while he understands the company, he has demonstrated to me (and others) that he just does not understand the perspective of information security professionals or relate to them.    I know that many of my peers are actively interviewing and others have “checked out” hoping that the new leader fails.

As part of the transition, I had a meeting with him , and I shared with him the commitment that the former leader made to me to help develop my career beyond information security engineering.,  Although he was polite, my feeling was that he was not going to honor the ex-CISO’s promise to me.

Do I need to begin looking for a new job?  Any advice?

Signed,

Vote Of No Confidence

 

Dear Voter:

One of my favorite sayings is that in the end you do not work for companies but you work for people.   In essence the company provides the framework but your manager has the real impact on your success and happiness.

You seem to be experiencing this first hand!

I think that what is particularly hard for you is that your decision to leave a good position was based upon the promises that your ex CISO made to you, and your assumption that these promises are going to be ignored.    It also appears that you do not have any confidence that the new CISO is going to make good decisions which are conducive to the development of the information security program and in essence your career.

Right now, the best advice that I can share with you is that you should give this person a chance.  Considering that your new manager is going to be evaluating your contributions to the company, you should in turn be evaluating their performance as well , as it relates to the development of your career.   Considering that the person is new to the role, and not an infosec professional -  my advice is to be the best information security engineer possible – and really demonstrate your talents, your passion, and your willingness to make positive contributions.   I would make it a point to really embrace the new leader, and demonstrate that you are their to support them.

Given the attitude of your peers, your positive attitude and work ethic should really stand out!

After doing this for ninety days or so, ask for a meeting.  At that meeting, you should revisit your conversation and your career goals.  At that point, you should see how receptive the new leader is.

If the new leader is receptive, you may have found a way to accelerate your career.  Keep working hard and contributing and see if you can produce some measurable results.

If the new leader is giving you lip service, ignoring you, and dismissing your requests – it is time to look for another role.   If the new leader does not recognize or appreciate you and your loyalty during this transition, it is likely that they are never going to connect with you or support your career development efforts.

At best you will be pleasantly surprised, at worse you can dust off the resume!

Hope this helps,

Lee Kushner

Posted by lee | Filed Under Advice, Behavior, Branding, Career Advice Tuesday, Leadership, Planning, Position Selection, Skills 

Comments

One Response to “Career Advice Tuesday – No Confidence in the New Regime”

  1. LonerVamp on July 3rd, 2012 4:28 pm

    I know it is hard to do, but I will echo what Lee said about being supportive of the new manager. Try to be the go-to answer guy and the one your manager may ask advice and questions of. In turn, it sounds like he can help you learn about the business side of things as well.

    If you need to, be respectful and honest in your meetings. Explain the challenges and make it clear you’re there to help him. He might be feeling overwhelmed himself about this new position and all these technical guys who know far more security than he does. And he might be a great learner. :)